We had a chat with regular guest Joanna Wootten and cultural critic Geoff Spink to ask them their disability or Deaf stand out moment from 2021 and what they’re excited about in 2022. We added our highlights in there too.
The stand out moments for us is very broad and includes Strictly Come Dancing, Abnormally Funny People comedy at the Royal Festival Hall, the next Lewis Hamilton racing in Bahrain, a William Boyd book, ’ Any Human Heart’ and the film Cyrano with Peter Dinklage. In addition, the UK Government’s Disability Strategy and the second reading of the British Sign Language Bill in the House of Commons make the list.
Let us know what are your favourite moments. Enjoy the show.
Abnormally Funny People sing ‘Stand By Me’ Lockdown version 2021
Any Human Heart print
Any Human Heart audio
Cyrano film IMDB
Cyrano film website
Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2021 Kart Racing in Bahrain Albert Friend 45:33 in
Strictly Come Dancing Rose and Giovanni YouTube
Succession season 4 Digitial Spy
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just search for Minty and Friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Simon Minty 0:27
Hello, and welcome to The Way We Roll with me Simon Minty.
Phil Friend 0:31
And me, Phil Friend.
Simon Minty 0:32
Happy New Year, everybody. We are in January and meeting, we have a lovely guest because we're going to do a little review of last year and have a little look forward to this year. Our fabulous guest you'll have heard of before is Joanna Wootten hi there Joanna.
Joanna Wootten 0:49
Simon Minty 0:50
Welcome back. Lovely to see you. The plan for this show is each of us will do one standout disability or deaf story from 2021. And one standout personal or work story from 2021. And then we'll do sort of one prediction or one thing we're looking forward to around disability or deafness in 2022. We're gonna kick off with our guest Joanna. So what was your standout disability or deaf story from last year Joanna?
Joanna Wootten 1:20
So last year, my outstanding story was Rose and Giovanni, I don't know if you're a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, you are. So I think everybody needed a bit of a lift last year, have so we got sequins and sparkling but we also got a great example of inclusion in action, Rosie was a deaf dancer to who won Strictly. But I think what was important about it, it's not the fact she won, is how it was made. You know, from the beginning, first of all, they gave everybody deaf awareness training before they even started doing the filming. And you could see that awareness. The people, the presenters, the judges. And also other competitors started using sign language ad hoc sign language like they would sign, thank you and so on. And it's just really taken off. It showed what an inclusive workplace can look like because there were interpreters in place and the cameras showed them working, but it didn't linger on them. And at home, the filming was really good. I think everybody listening to this knows that disability, the coverage can be a bit either makes you feel sick or cross. And it managed to avoid that. And I think the other thing I want to mention is Giovanni, Rose's dancing partner, he adapted his way of teaching and communication so together they formed the winning partnership. So as Rose adapted to Giovanni, Giovanni adapted to Rose.
Simon Minty 3:06
I have multiple questions Phil, have you got a question?
Phil Friend 3:09
I was gonna make two comments. One is, I'm not a fan of Strictly. I just find it.
Simon Minty 3:15
Boo! It's like Craig Revell Hall.
Phil Friend 3:18
But when I heard she was on it, my wife is a fan. And she does watch it. And when I heard it was on that there was a deaf contestant. I was quite intrigued to think how that was going to work. You know, we're in the industry, aren't we, but I still was intrigued. I watched it. And then the second point was when I think in the second third last round, she turned the music off, and danced with Giovanni in silence, to kind of give the audience and the viewers a sense of how difficult this actually is. I was really that was powerful. That was a really good use of a simulation because we don't like simulations, but that really worked for me. And then I wanted her to win from that moment onwards. I wanted her to win I was watching it. So she converted me to watching contestants who are disabled, but I still won't watch the rest of them. (Laughter)
Simon Minty 4:22
Was that a good moment for you as well. Joanna when they did the silence part?
Joanna Wootten 4:26
It was really powerful because it was so unexpected. And the other thing is it shows them still being able to dance. It doesn't have to be to music. But Giovanni adapting to Rose's world. So it was powerful Yes.
Simon Minty 4:44
I was struck by that moment, too. You couldn't be I mean, I when they would do the little I thing you said it perfectly. They would glance across and you'd see the interpreter, but then they moved on there wasn't this some big show-off thing. It was just that was there. And I think sometimes I'm hard and cynical, but I couldn't help but get emotional and I might stop it. That's not. That's not what this is about. But I think it was something about it being there and being done well, and it was just part of it. There was something very powerful for me. I also like the moment I think Rose, because she speaks sign language, first language, I believe, and that can be more direct when you speak verbally. And I think she said, Giovanni stinky breath. And I just thought it was hilarious that there be that direct.
Joanna Wootten 5:28
That really made me laugh. It was very "deaf". I saw a follow up with Giovanni where he said, Let me just be clear, you have stinky breath too! Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's true, both eating and working together. The other thing about that dance is important make the point, it was about the joy of being deaf. She wanted show that deaf could be a joy. And she said this afterwards, in an interview, she wanted to show the joy of being that they were smiling and celebrating it
Phil Friend 6:02
There were some other moments weren't there, which could be toe curling, but weren't, which is when they showed the deaf children at the school that she had had a big impact on and they, you know, she became their kind of hero. And that was handled, I thought, well, because sometimes this inspirational bit can be we've talked about it haven't we. It can make you feel, but that wasn't that was appropriate. These young people were clearly impressed by her and what she was doing and wanted to do it themselves. So you know, that's a really good example of when it works very well, I think.
Simon Minty 6:38
And for the listener, Joanna, were you doing is that signings for being sick?
Joanna Wootten 6:42
Yes I was! I'm clarifying this. Because sometimes these things can be a bit icky, but I thought some of it is because they allow people to speak for themselves. They weren't doing this stupid voiceover. Let's go and look across and be inspired, da da, da, da,
Simon Minty 7:01
Mr. Friend, your standout disability deaf story from 2021.
Phil Friend 7:05
So I'm going to go for a deaf story again, because this links to a story that we did a very long time ago, as well, not a story, a project we were involved in, which was with the Blood Transfusion Service. And you might recall that one of the things that came out of that story was that sign language interpreters could not be used in the interview with the deaf person, in this case, a deaf person. Now, the link to that is that I then discovered that that was also true for juries, that a deaf person could not be a juror, because sign language interpreters were not allowed in the jury box or the jury area. Well, this year that changed. They've they've made it now possible for Deaf jurors to be selected and for sign language support to be provided for them. We don't have a written constitution like the Americans do, for example. So our rights are a bit vague. You know, we don't have too many of them. But we do have a right to be a juror. And if that right is denied you because of a disability or an impairment, then clearly I think this is what we were going on about in the blood transfusion case. And in the juror case, I'm really pleased to hear that that's changed. And it means that now, you know, disabled people, jurors who are deaf, are now are going to be able to play their part. So that's that's my story. Joanna,
Joanna Wootten 8:39
I aree. I can't believe that any courtroom wouldn't want to have me as a juror (laughter) but more seriously I do know of people who got called up for jury service I haven't been able to serve although some people who use speech to text have very recently been able to serve but they weren't allowed in the deliberating area, but they could speak to text in the courtroom so that's an interesting one.
Phil Friend 9:12
Yeah, I mean, I I was denied jury service because I couldn't access the jury area. I could use the toilets. I could go into the deliberation whatever that word is. area. I could be in the court but I couldn't sit in the jury box. And to be fair to the the Lord Chancellor's Department as it was then they tried very hard to adapt the courtroom but couldn't do it. So I was excused. And I've always thought that was wrong really. We you know, we should be able to serve in the jury.
Simon Minty 9:40
I have done jury service two three years ago and I really enjoyed doing it. I'm I was the only one there who loved it. Everyone else. Oh goodness, but I was beyond excited. The question, Phil, do you think because we've had the technology or interpreters around long enough to do this. So was there some other sort of bias saying that? Well, if you're looking at the interpreter, you can't see the potential criminals face or what was
Phil Friend 10:05
It was basically it was an oversight. It was when the law changed in 95. That point, disabled people had rights. reasonable adjustments became common currency. You know, we all talked about it. The Deaf person uses sign language interpreters, what's so difficult about that? And they use sign language interpreters or interpreters when they have foreign witnesses. The judge can't speak Russian. There's somebody there interpreting for him. So you know,
Joanna Wootten 10:36
No, no, the issue is about having only 12 jurors, you're not allowed 13 people, they have to be 12 good men and true, that was the issue with the 13th person. And that's where the problem was,
Phil Friend 10:54
And actually, the interpreter is not a juror. That's the point. They're there to facilitate.
Joanna Wootten 11:01
Yeah. But if we have to clarify that
Simon Minty 11:04
I mean, that's the truth. You got to handle the truth. That's what I'm saying. That's a quote from a film.
Phil Friend 11:11
Outrageous was a quote, from a film!
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Simon Minty 11:17
If we go back to almost this time last year, or two years ago, we were asked to do Abnormally Funny People. The comedy team were asked to do a show at the Southbank Centre, which for international people, this is the Royal Festival Hall. It's amazing. It's a prestigious London venue. And we were going to be performing their COVID kicked in. So we had to switch online. And it was the 17th of January 2021. We had two hours of entertainment. We had songs, we had sketches, we had new material, I think we had 17 performers altogether. I wanted to get to 500 people to tune in, and we hit sort of late three hundreds, the bit that was lovely that people stuck around because they could have easily left halfway through or any way through as people do with Zoom calls. And it was very messy at the beginning as well. And I remember I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I got ratty because everybody was chatting away on the Zoom call. My father was in his dressing gown talking to people and oh, it was horrific people thought we'd set that up. Anyhow, get into the crunchy bit. Second half penultimate Act was a chap called Don Biswas, and he was performing. And he was the main part of my screen, I could see five people in little boxes on the Zoom like you do. And they were laughing so much. It's all emotional stuff isn't it. And I remember just watching them and I, I finally could relax because the show was going all right. But also to see we were in deep lockdown, then, I mean, this was this time last year proper, or second or third lockdown. And to see these people just laughing and laughing because there's something that we all created was a a joyous moment. Now, deep down I wish had been live for all those acts to have performed on the London stage would have been remarkable. But I it was a special moment. It was really cool. So yeah, it's not a story. It was more like an event, but I loved it.
Phil Friend 13:10
Well, I was part of it. I mean, I watched it rather, I was one of the audience. And there were certainly some highlights your Dad was one of them. Brilliant. I mean, you I know, I can see why you would be embarrassed, two reasons. One it's your Dad. But the other was that you were trying to run a professional event. And I could imagine knowing you as well as I do, I can imagine that that must I do. I just enjoyed that moment. But for anybody to do comedy on Zoom is just so difficult. And all of my family watched, and they're not biased in the way I am. I want what you do, do well, because I like you. And we, you know, we know each other. But my family also knows Simon to be fair listener, but they don't know him as well as I do. But anyway, they all watched it their different generations. And they thoroughly enjoyed it. They thought it was brilliant, given comedy online, and the event and so on. It was brilliant. So,
Simon Minty 14:10
I mean, there were definitely a few not so great moments. And you know, all acts are different. They vary, and so on and so forth. But, um, on the whole I was very pleased. So that's and it's lovely that your family tuned in. . We're gonna move on to our second. This is a standout sort of personal or work story from 2021. Phil, do you want to kick us off?
Phil Friend 14:33
I think I want to claim two linked. The first one. The first one I'm sure like you and Joanna. Last year meant we could go out. And Sue and I had a short holiday. We visited people we hadn't seen and it was just brilliant. That that was just great. They said I'm sure our listeners have done that too. I think that idea that we could go out and see people and have a few days away from home and stuff. So that was one but the standout moment is very personal and it really doesn't matter to anybody else. But I have a grandson called Albie, who's nine now. And he's a kart racer. He races karts, and he races in the British championships. And he managed to qualify for the Bahrain World Finals in a particular class of kart. I won't bore the listeners with all of that very technical, actually. Anyway, he went out to Bahrain, there was all this worry about the pandemic, and whether they get there and all this stuff. He arrived in Bahrain with my son, his dad, and he came ninth out of 36 drivers, and he was one of the very youngest there were 11 and 12 year olds in his group. So it's just oozing off me. I'm just, I'm in awe of him, I think, to be able to do that at nine years of age. And of course, my son is beyond big headed. I mean, it's all just brilliant. So the very personal moment, but I can't not share it because I thought it was great.
Joanna Wootten 16:18
That is brilliant story. Having a daredevil grandson.
Phil Friend 16:24
Daredevil is such a good summary of him. Joanna, you've never met him. But if you did, that would be a brilliant line.
Simon Minty 16:31
And I can add a little backstory to this. So if anyone's ever been in the car with Phil driving, it's like being on a Formula One racetrack. It's terrifying. If he sees a little gap, he'll go for it. And he's never crashed since I've been in the car anyway, so there is a thing genetic then he did this with George his son when I first got to know Phil, he was going out with his son, do they so this has gone through the generations. And clearly, it's a sort of petrolhead love or when my little add on when people say karts they're not you know, pedal carts and trundling around they're really fast and it's a proper track and I mean, I've watched it online there are proper cameras set up there's commentary they're flying around this and and Albie so could have been it was edging for the top three with a couple of laps to go and then, you know, a shunt here and a nudge there. It was remarkable. So yeah, I'm with you. It's lovely. It takes a couple of generations, but it's really happening
Phil Friend 17:27
When my son raced. Simon very kindly didn't get too annoyed when we put Minty and Friend on the side of George's van so we could claim advertising against the business. I always remember that Simon looked at what's our name doing on the side of this van? Yeah, George raced on the same track at the same time as Lewis Hamilton. So you're right. It's it's part of our family. And anyway, it was lovely.
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Simon Minty 18:06
Joanna Do you have a personal or a sort of worky story.
Joanna Wootten 18:10
I mean, quite a lot of last year was Groundhog Day if I'm really honest, but it was really nice on a personal level was I could see my sister and her family because I haven't seen them for two and a half years because of COVID as they live in Australia, and I saw them for Christmas, so that was really positive. And luckily her family managed to avoid getting COVID until the 27th of December. You know that kind of allpart of it isn't it that sort of doing a body swerve around COVID
Simon Minty 18:45
I've got a very good friend who's come over from Australia a school friend and it was all touch and go whether they would come home it's really difficult that's lovely so a bit of a reunion it's a bit like Phil going away or catching up with people
Joanna Wootten 18:58
Yep I got to go to these for Christmas when I met my sister to so there you go. As you say we can go away and leave our houses this year whereas we couldn't the previous year for Christmas we had to stay put
Phil Friend 19:10
I'm just gonna say it's that I the inconvenience of having to put shoes on I can remember you know the idea that you slum about in your tracksuit bottoms because the top of you is all posh, you know, very nice. And I did go to a meeting actually in Salford the the only meeting I attended face to face in two years. I went to Salford not Salford it was Birmingham. And it was I just made jokes about it but it was nice to see people's legs and feet and, and shoes and sort of have those conversations "Oh I like your shoes". Can't do that on Zoom can you. But yeah, it was nice. It was really nice to be able to be in the company of other people.
Simon Minty 19:53
The same time I remember going away. I went to Cambridge. I went on my own and I was a bit nervous about going on my own but I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Loved going to hotels just being away from everything. Okay my personal but it is personal and work. And it's probably no surprise but and I'm not going to talk loads about it. But this year was joining the Gogglebox cast on Channel Four. If you don't have Gogglebox, it's a weird concept. It's members of the public watching television programs. And then we comment on those programs and they make a program out of our comments. My main bits are, I feel this immense responsibility to other short people. I don't want to humiliate them all myself, I want to you know, put on a good show. But at the same time, I'm going to be a bit silly and a bit daft. And you know, I've got to be myself, I get to see my sister, frequently. I'd never do that normally. But now it's every week, and I'm seeing her which is lovely. And the last few bits, which are weird. I've always been said that in the streets, because I'm short. I'm still getting stared at in the streets. But I don't know why now, because sometimes it's because I'm short and sometimes it's people go hello. It's like they know me or something. And that's weird. But the other thing I found quite peculiar is I sometimes feel more comfortable and more myself in front of a camera than I do in real life. And I don't know what's going on with that. But my example on one of the shows, there was some great music Christmas music came on and I got up and started dancing. Now anyone who knows me I have to be drunk as a skunk. Or I have to close my eyes I don't dance. I just don't dance. And here I was dancing. And I don't get that. But anyway, it's a joy to do.
Joanna Wootten 21:46
So I'm just thinking is that a good thing for dry January then if people are going "dry" they just put camera on and get the same feeling.
Simon Minty 21:56
Exactly. Somebody started showing off maybe that's what it is, is showing off. I don't drink anyway, so I haven't danced for ten years.
Phil Friend 22:02
I have to say that. Simon and I went out for a meal. Before Christmas again, nice to do and we were with a with a very good friend. And we're sitting there ever now meal and this bloke comes up and goes Hello, can I have a picture with you. And it's Mr. Minty wants to be pictured with. Now this bloke it's quite true was as drunk as a skunk. But it was clear that he recognized Simon from Gogglebox and wanted to take his picture. So it's already happening. He's a bit of a celeb. But I love that idea that now you don't know whether they're looking at you because of the Gogglebox thing or because you're small. I think that's really nice, actually, because you can you can choose to believe it's because of your celebrity status rather than than the fact you're small.
I know but someone said so it's now a positive not a negative, but that annoyed me. Because I'm like, yep, but it's a bit like Rose being short isn't a negative to me. But people were looking at me as a negative. But I was like, No, that's your problem. You see what I mean? I do get your point Phil. It's I'm not disagreeing with it was just me. I was like, oh, hold up. Do I want them to stare at me for being short. I don't know. It's all about weird
I get that I get what you're saying. But I still think it's nice to feel that people are looking at you for positive reasons.
Simon Minty 23:26
And the nice thing is they will talk I mean they'll come over and start chatting both of you were involved at various stages. So thank you for all your support.
Phil Friend 23:33
To get people talk to you all you have to do is buy yourself a dog own a dog go out for a walk with the dog and you are very popular believe me. That's another strategy you could adopt in 2022 Simon buy a dog.
Joanna Wootten 23:49
He doesn't need to he's on Gogglebox
Phil Friend 23:51
But he could he could have a dog and be on Gogglebox be superstar!
Simon Minty 23:58
They're already staring at me because I'm short now cuz I'm on TV. Now they're going to talk to me cuz I have a dog but that is too much. I will not go out bring back lockdown!
Phil Friend 24:04
Get a small dog just to complicate matters!
Simon Minty 24:09
Right, third and final and we will kick Oh, it's me. I should start this one so that the last one we said was one prediction in disability or deafness in 2022 Forgive me it's all short people stuff. It's not a prediction, but it's an interest. I'm wondering whether Peter Dinklage, the actor who was in Game of Thrones will get an Oscar. What it basically he is in a film called Cirano de Bergerac if you don't know the film, it used to be a man who is a brilliant poet, but he has a big nose so the ladies don't like him. He believes because of that. So he puts the words into other people's mouths and they end up getting the lady. The idea of Peter Dinklage having dwarfism is that that he doesn't get the ladies because he's short. I think this is a fabulous re adaptation or adaptation of the idea, I adore Peter Dinklage full stop, he's a year younger than me. So I sort of have all this identification stuff with him. He's my hero, I just want to go out with him. So anyway, the idea that a short person with dwarfism is going to be the romantic lead almost, in a mainstream film is is a huge thing to me.
Phil Friend 25:20
I can see why I like him, too. He's a great actor forget size he's just good. I mean, he, in Game of Thrones, he was electrifying. Really.
Joanna Wootten 25:32
He like carried the show. But, you know, he was the heart of the show. He was just so very fast and brilliant,
Phil Friend 25:41
though. Very good. Well, fingers crossed Simon, because I think I read that too. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Simon Minty 25:48
I'm trying to get him to come and be interviewed.
Phil Friend 25:51
A no brainer.
Simon Minty 25:54
Joanna, what's you're looking forward to the year ahead.
Joanna Wootten 25:59
I think the thing I'm looking forward with interest is that at the end of January, there's going to be a second reading of the BSL So potentially we may have a BSL Act. So that quite exciting
Simon Minty 26:15
So for those who don't know, British Sign Language, and what is this Act?
Joanna Wootten 26:19
Sorry, it is the British sign language act. People have been campaigning for a long time to have it formally recognized in legislation as one of the languages of the UK, a bit like Gaelic or Welsh. But we don't have that formal status at this point in time?
Simon Minty 26:42
Does that bring rights in terms of interpretation or different format? And stuff? Is that what it? Or is it just recognition?
Joanna Wootten 26:48
I'm not entirely sure, actually, because it's only second reading, of the BSL Bill. So read has been one more reality if you do have a lot of rights already, because of the Equality Act, but that's to a disability angle rather than a cultural angle
Phil Friend 27:07
Like you, Joanna and we talked about so I don't know if he talked about on our last show. But we certainly talked about it. The lack of sign language support during the government announcements, and it was the Home Nations did but not England. If this BSL bill comes past, would that make that illegal then do you think or is it it too soon to say?
Joanna Wootten 27:30
In fact, there was a case brought against the government, they were found guilty of discrimination, but they had already legislation in place for that. I ought to make that clear the Equality Act, they were found in breech.
Simon Minty 27:47
You said the main word for me there, Joanna, which is the critical and this is cultural. It's the argument we've often have about deafness, or disability, and the cultural aspects of it beyond the legal or physical and so on. So that's really interesting. That's quite, I mean, that's about identity.
Phil Friend 28:04
And would it mean that it could be taught in schools as a different language? Ie like French or German? Or?
Joanna Wootten 28:13
Well, this is why 2022 is a good year for deaf people there's a consultation around the BSL curriculum coming up in the first half of the year and a potential GCSE and so on.
Phil Friend 28:28
Oh, brilliant. That would be great.
Simon Minty 28:31
And general feeling do you think this is a second reading? I do. What's the expectation from this is gonna happen? We'll go through Do you think?
Joanna Wootten 28:39
I mean, it's a private members bill so there's a lot of support for it. But the reality a private member's bills don't always go through? Unless they're formally sponsored by the government of the day.
Simon Minty 28:54
Thank you, Joanna. And Phil, you're 2022. What are you? What's striking you
Phil Friend 28:59
It links a bit to what Joanna's has been talking about. The government passed or announced its National Disability Strategy. It was one of the dampest squibs of 2021. But being an optimist, I'm saying this with clenched teeth. I'm wanting that to become something more than just a bloody report, because there are things in it, that could make a big difference. And when you look at the findings from the survey they did just before it informed strategy itself. It's horrendous, you know, people living in houses, they can't move around in people without work people without the support they need in social care, all that stuff. So I want to see 2022 to do something about the National Disability Strategy. I get the fact that we're in the middle of a bloody crisis with COVID and everything, but that would make me feel very much better. A bit like Joanna's thing with the Deaf progress. It's being made for deaf people. It needs to be seen across all disability groups.
Simon Minty 30:07
Thank you. I echo you on that. Both the damp squib it coming out. But I always I think one or two people have said to us, Oh, can we sit down with you and talk about this? And maybe we need to be part of that happening and changing as well.
Joanna Wootten 30:21
I mean, it's there, we should maximize it. Even if we think it could and should be better. Through dialogue that may happen.
Phil Friend 30:31
The government have said it's their, you know, their policy, they're going to pursue it. So let's see whether they do I know that there will be issues around implementation because we've got going on elsewhere. But yeah, fingers crossed.
Simon Minty 30:44
Officially, we're done. Thank you so much to the both of you, for rockin up with your ideas and your stories. It's lovely to see you again, Joanna, and have you as our guest. I hope everything is brilliant for you in 2022. And the predictions that you foresight actually happen positively as well.
Joanna Wootten 31:04
It's been lovely to be back. And I'm looking forward to 2022 being a better year for everybody. And I hope some of the good stuff we talked about happen, and then we got to celebrate at the end of the year.
Phil Friend 31:15
Yeah. Nice to see Joanna.
Simon Minty 31:17
We'll be celebrating you on Strictly Come. Perhaps this time. No,
Phil Friend 31:22
Or , perhaps an Oscar for Simon on Gogglebox? Well,
Simon Minty 31:25
I'll be dancing won't I. So maybe Joanna and I will be dancing on Strictly?
Phil Friend 31:31
Yes. All right.
Simon Minty 31:33
Thank you, Joanna,
We continue our review of the year and looking forward to next year, we have cultural corner with Geoff Spink. Geoff, we're gonna ask you something that you really enjoyed last year. And then maybe having a look forward to 2022. So your favorite thing from last year or culture that you consumed,
Geoff Spink 31:52
The favorite thing, without any doubt is a William Boyd novel not published last year, but read last year, called Any Human Heart now. It's a great novel, it's it's, it's about the life of a man who was lucky enough to live in every decade of the 20th century. And it charts his life through boarding school, Oxford University, and then becoming a writer becoming a spy during the Second World War, becoming an art dealer in New York after the war, and then becoming a lecturer in Nigeria. And then finally, some years where he sort of is a bit on his uppers back in London. And even at one point, eats dog food because it's cheaper to buy than, than canned stew. And it finishes with him sort of living out his final days in France, in a house that somebody bequeathed to him. But it's great because it goes right through the 20th century. And there are various characters from from politics and from literature and from the arts, who pop up in this book. So for example, he meets Virginia Woolf, who he depicts as a sort of, very curmudgeonly racist lady, Pablo, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and his then mistress, Martha Gellhorn, they all they all turn up in various guises. And he has a brush with royalty with a Duke and Duchess of Windsor, he's sent to the Bahamas during the Second World War to keep to keep an eye on them. Because if you remember, the Duke of Windsor was made governor of the Bahamas during the Second World War to keep him out of the way. And, and it was this character's job to keep an eye on him. And he found that he was meddling in all sorts of things he shouldn't be.
It's a brilliant idea, because you can it's a historical novel, you just pick out your interest. It sounds like the most interesting bits as sort of 50s and before 1950s earlier, right, but maybe it picks up as well in the latter half of the century. William Boyd I know, why do I know because I've got Any Human Heart. He seems to be one of those authors been around for a long time and just fabulous stuff. Is there a big one that we all know by William Boyd?
Simon Minty 33:50
Um, that we all know I'm not sure Brazzaville Beach perhaps
Okay. Okay. That's probably ringing a bell.
Geoff Spink 34:11
A Good Man in Africa, I think was his first novel.
Phil Friend 34:14
Okay, sounds a bit reminiscent. I'm gonna get this wrong, I'm sure. But there was a book about a guy called Harold Fry who escapes from an old people's home now. Yeah. And he talks about all the characters he met it's complete fiction. I mean, he's met every world leader or something. It sounds
Geoff Spink 34:30
Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. No, I know that. And it's not really like that, because it's contemporaneous as in when he's writing about his life as a student, he's writing it almost as though he is that student not not in retrospect as it were.
Simon Minty 34:47
I think it's a great I love William Boyd. He's one of those just a really good writer as well as your bit as you say, this is just a great concept, isn't it?
Geoff Spink 34:55
It is and you know, you can you can get it as an e book. You can get it as an audio book. You can Get it as of course as a paperback. And actually there is a channel 4 dramatization of it in six parts.
Simon Minty 35:06
I had a quick look. And I think there is a TV show, isn't it? Yeah, yeah,
Geoff Spink 35:10
it's on Britbox. I've given you links to all of those things for the show notes.
Simon Minty 35:15
What about 2022? Is there something coming on the horizon that you're saying we need to keep an eye out for?
Geoff Spink 35:22
Can I be cheeky, and say two things. One is the last I think season of Succession, which has taken the whole world by storm. And as the writer says about Succession, there's a bit of a promise in the title. So they can't keep Logan going forever. They've got he's, he's got to, in some way hand on or pass on or something, you know, the titles got to come to fruition in some way. So probably that's going to be the final season of that. And we are promised a final season of the mafia drama from Naples Gomorrah. So if those two things happen, I'll be very happy bunny in 2022.
Phil Friend 36:00
I should just say Geoff quickly, one of your recommendations last year was Moving by Jenny Eclair. And I started it and I put it down, so I'm not. And then I picked it up again. And I am now thoroughly thoroughly gripped. It's funny, isn't it? How you can do that with a book. I didn't enjoy the first chapter or two, and then suddenly, it's taken off and I'm really so my ambition is to finish it in 2022.
Geoff Spink 36:27
And I think if you're in the wrong mood, it just doesn't strike a chord and you think oh, why did why did that man Spink recommend this it's a load of old rubbish.
Simon Minty 36:35
So Any Human Heart William Boyd was your favorite thing of 2021. Although, as you say, pre published, that's doesn't matter. And we look out for Succession, and Gomorrah, which I remember you mentioning before, I think Ozarks coming back for another season. I quite enjoyed that as well.
Geoff Spink 36:52
Absolutely. More drugs and crime.
Simon Minty 36:55
Exactly. Really love it. Thank you so much, Geoff. We wish you all the best for 2022. And we will look forward to speaking to you very soon.
Geoff Spink 37:04
Thank you very much. Cheers, guys.
Phil Friend 37:05
Thanks eversomuch Byeee.
Simon Minty 37:08
That was a lovely show. Always good to have Joanna back and listen to Geoff.
Phil Friend 37:13
Yes, she's lovely. I like Jo. I like Geoff to. (Giggles) Very good.
Simon Minty 37:17
We've got a couple of things to wrap up. Before we sign off. You may be interested we are in our statistics that are on our podcast. The last year our top show last year was the ableism one, "Ableism doesn't mean what you think it means" by far the number one, the long term health conditions was number two. We've had two and a half thousand downloads, which is pretty good. And the top city where people listen to us is Blackheath near Greenwich in London. If you are someone who lives in sort of Greewich or Blackheath area, I mean, they're a bit vague, these regions, and I know, I've had you know, you've logged on, and it's not the same region. But if you are out east of London, listener, we'd love to hear from you. Because you're right up at the top. So yeah, thank you. Good stats.
Phil Friend 38:06
So just before we sign off, we're going to be doing a show on the facts around immunocompromised people. If you are one if you're somebody who's been shielding throughout COVID and are really scared about what might happen now the restrictions are off and stuff like that, please send us a very brief maybe a minute or so audio, explaining your worries about that. And send them to us our email address which is email@example.com. And we'll see what we can do with them maybe include them in the show, whatever, it'd be great to hear from you.
Simon Minty 38:38
Absolutely. And if you simple recording, you know just do on your phone. They make it complicated even sentence Yeah. If you prefer to write us okay, we could read it out too. But we love audio because it's you know what we do?
Phil Friend 38:50
Exactly. So there we are. Okay, so we'll see you all very soon at the next show.
Simon Minty 38:55
We're looking forward to it and thanks for listening to this one. Take care everyone.
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at mintyand firstname.lastname@example.org or just search for minty and friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai